Wednesday, January 08 2020
Colin Fleming is a writer. He is also a recovering alcoholic. In a recent
Wall Street Journal opinion piece, he talks about what it takes to make the kinds of changes in life necessary to quit drinking or even write a book. ("Don't Wait a Year to Make Resolutions", December 30, 2019) This is what he said:
Any change in life requires momentum and the determination to build on it. But fresh starts-especially the expectations we apply to New Year's-are endued with a kind of officiality that makes them intimidating. We feel as if we must have everything in order in our lives-desk cleared of stray papers, pencils all sharpened and in a row-before we start writing the story. But that's not how stories are composed or anything gets done. They're wrought amid the bracken of life, with space cleared and clutter elbowed aside, not vanquished. They're created in the small starts that link segment to segment until you have a road and you are roaring down it, momentum doing its thing.
At the core of our Christian faith is the idea that human beings can make new starts. We use the language of faith to talk about this: sin, repentance and grace. Of course, these words apply to things with a serious moral dimension and not just starting a new diet. The good news we have just celebrated over Christmas is that God sent Jesus to save the world from it sin and brokenness. That world includes each one of us. As John's gospel tells us, "God so loved the world that He sent His one and only son . . ."(John 3:16) Jesus came to break to bonds of sin that hold us back from becoming the persons God created us to be. Yet, because of God's love, we can accept the gift of God's grace and start anew. The new start it is often "amid the bracken of life" and "the small starts" that join together to build momentum in life.
Prayer for Today
Gracious God, thank you for the possibility of new starts in life. Help us to turn to you sooner rather than later, so that we might fully experience your forgiveness and renewal. We pray this in the strong name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.